Half of existing jobs will be extinct by 2025 – is HR safe?

A recent report by CBRE suggested that almost half of today’s jobs will be redundant or replaced with artificial intelligence by 2025. HC speaks to experts about the future of HR.

Research for a recent report by CBRE and Genesis has led experts to believe that almost half of existing occupations will be redundant by 2025 as technological advancements transform the workings of businesses.

The report, Fast Forward 2030: The Future of Work and the Workplace, is based on research conducted with experts, business leaders and young people based in Asia Pacific, Europe and North America.

A shift in workplace operations is predicted to occur within the next ten to fifteen years.

“Experts predict that 50% of occupations today will no longer exist by 2025 as people take up more creative professions,” said Martin Chen, chief operating officer of Genesis.

According to the report, growth in new jobs could occur equally between corporate and freelance professionals.

A report managed by US-based Pew Research in 2014 found that 52% of experts in artificial intelligence were optimistic about the job base of the future, however.

“Technology has always forced people out of jobs and created the opportunity for new roles that we haven’t yet imagined,” said Jon Windust, CEO at Cognology. “What we’re seeing today is not that different to what happened with the steam engine in the time of the industrial revolution. But there is one big difference, and that’s the rate of change – workers already need to reskill multiple times over their career, and this trend is accelerating.”

Windust added that many top employers are increasing the frequency of their performance reviews in order to ensure that employees are keeping up with this rate of change and advancement.

“We’ve seen our top performing clients move from a performance conversation once-a-year down to a once-a-month,” he told HC. “That frequency of feedback is directly related to how fast the workforce is changing right now.”

Peter Andrew, director of Workplace Strategies Asia at CBRE, told HC that HR and leadership roles will remain vital.

“Artificial intelligence won’t replace leaders’ jobs – but it will enable them to be much better – and if they don’t incorporate AI they may find competitors outperform,” he said.
Andrew added that HR practitioners will need to be willing to embrace technological advancements in their workforce.

“There is an increasing need to overlap network structures with hierarchy structures,” he said. “Many HR teams won’t have competence to make that change by themselves – but they will certainly need to understand and support it. This change will need to be driven by CEO and business leaders.”

He also said that there will likely be a move to breaking work down into smaller teams, building performance management systems, and moving to a ‘middle mentorship’ model rather than ‘middle management’ structure of organisation. 

“Clearly HR will have to play a significant role in supporting these changes and building skills, capability and resilience amongst staff for that change,” he predicted.

In terms of HR’s role in the recruitment process, Andrew speculated that face to face assessment will not be replicated for a long time. “Although there is a possibility that Artificial Intelligence might supplement this, assessing areas where humans can be biased,” he told HC

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